Novelis develops 90% recycled aluminium for beverage cans

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Novelis' evercan
Novelis' evercan

Related tags Recycled content Recyclable materials Beverage can Recycling

Novelis has developed aluminium sheet with 90% recycled content enabling beverage can manufacturers the ability to have a product made of 70% recycled material.

Evercan has a minimum of 90% recycled content, so the aluminium beverage can body sheet will allow beverage companies to deliver soft drinks, beer and other popular beverages in a low-carbon footprint package.

When combined with the can end made of a different alloy during the can making process, the evercan will enable beverage companies to market their products in standard 12-ounce aluminium cans certified as made from a minimum of 70% recycled content.

The evercan aluminium sheet has been certified for high-recycled content by SCS Global Services, a firm providing third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development.

It is commercially available now in North America and Europe, and will be available worldwide later this year.

Development time

John Gardner, Novelis chief sustainability officer, told that they had been thinking about the development for around 18-20 months.

“We have invested strongly in our capacity to offer high recycled content and put high capacity in place.

"There has been a lot of interest from the beverage industry, NGO's, governments and regulators and there is a demand once people understand the product and we are communicating that.

“It is part of the environmental and sustainability story which is led by Europe but closely followed by other areas like the US and Asia – people want sustainable products.

“We have engaged with can makers and brand holders in how it goes to market and worked closely through the supply chain.”

When asked about a 100% version, he said: “It is a long term ambition, the recycling capacity and technology of the recycling will work into the target.”   

While the firm wouldn’t reveal the exact figures on capacity, they did say they expect substantial can sheet to be made available for evercan in the next few years which will be built up over time.

Novelis estimated current market levels of recycled content in aluminum beverage cans was around the 40-50% mark.

Sustainable package

Phil Martens, Novelis president and chief executive officer, said: "Our Novelis evercan high-recycled content beverage can body sheet, backed by the industry's first independent certification program, represents tremendous progress in sustainable consumer products packaging.

“As the world's leading supplier of aluminum beverage can sheet, this is an important step toward delivering on our ultimate vision of an aluminum can with up to 100% recycled content."

The company's efforts to increase the recycling of beverage cans is part of its plan to increase the recycled content of its products across its global operations to 80% by 2020.

Already the world's largest recycler of aluminum, Novelis previously announced capital investments of close to $500m over the last two years that will double global recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tons by 2015.

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